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Ulceratiye stomatitis associated with an avitaminosis in Malta


, : Ulceratiye stomatitis associated with an avitaminosis in Malta. Brit Dental Jour 74(10): 257-260

During the period Sept. 1942 to Feb. 1943 the people of Malta lived under siege conditions. The diet was strictly rationed and its vit. content was low. It is estimated that the daily vit. C intake was, on the avg., only about 5.7 mg./ person, whilst the vit. A content was calculated to be 573 I.U. During this period over 120 patients were treated at the Public Dental Clinic for ulcerative stomatitis, but many other cases occurred all over the island. The patients seen at the clinic were nearly all children between the ages of 15 mos. and 15 yrs., and were all in poor health, quite apart from the debility associated with their oral condition. The few adults who were affected did not suffer from severe attacks, but the children showed extensive oral ulceration. In a few patients, no Vincent's organisms were found, yet these cases were as acute as those in which Vincent's organisms were present. The local treatment for most patients was application of 10% chromic acid soln., followed by H2O2 soln. and a KCL mouth wash. A few early cases were given novarsenobillon intravenously or tablets of strepto-cide, with little good effect. The local treatment usually produced an improvement in time, but the tissues did not become quite normal, and relapses were frequent. When, however, the local treatment was supplemented by giving tablets of ascorbic acid there was immediate and lasting improvement. The dosage was 25 mg./day for children under 7 yrs. and 50-75 mg./day for older patients.

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